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    A PRACTICAL DOCTRINE

    The truth on this subject is important; it is important to us that we understand it. The oft-repeated saying that “it makes no difference,” is not applicable here.EMTF 91.8

    But many evade the truth on this subject by refer- ring to the good and pious of former generations, to whom the warning message of Revelation 14:9-12 was not given. They were accepted of God, and died happy; we will live as they lived, and go to heaven also. To this there are two just replies:—EMTF 91.9

    1. Professors of this day are not living as their fathers lived. Even one generation ago Christians professed a simplicity of godliness which is ignored by the mass of professors in this day. The church suppers and festivals, the gambling devices to obtain money, the church theatricals, and other profane amusements now foisted upon the name of Christianity “for pious uses” (to quote a term of the mother church), would not have been tolerated for a moment by our fathers of past generations. The earnest vital godliness of a half century ago is now known to the few,—a “little flock” when all told. Our fathers, in the denominations, will rise up to condemn this pleasure-loving age. The objection we are noticing is a reproach to the piety and zeal of our fathers, as their lives are a rebuke to the cold formality of present-day religion.EMTF 92.1

    Let us in turn ask, Why was it that Seth, Enoch, and others before the day of Noah, were not required to build an ark? Enoch was so godly as to receive the testimony that his ways pleased God, and to be translated without seeing death. Could not Noah as live as Enoch lived and be saved, without the cross and labor of building an ark? The answer is nigh unto everyone. He could not, and why?—Because Noah lived in the time of the flood and Enoch did not. Enoch could not preach Noah’s message; he lived at a time too early for that. Noah could not be accepted of God and do only that which Enoch did, as he lived under different circumstances. Extraordinary events require extraordinary preparations; and those preparations are suited to no other time but their own.EMTF 92.2

    And so with the preaching of the Lord’s coming. To past generations it was not “present truth.” They could not give the message of warning. But we, who have seen the signs of his coming, who know the time (Romans 13:11, 12), who see the day approaching (Hebrews 10:25), must proclaim this truth, sound the alarm, as Noah proclaimed the approach of the flood. As it was necessary in order to be saved to receive the message of Noah, so it is necessary in order to be prepared for our Lord’s advent that we accept the truth in regard to his near coming.EMTF 93.1

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